Texas Tech University

Skyviews Facelift: Student Projects offer Unique Designs for Campus Restaurant

DOD/HRM department collaboration

Skyviews student design project texas tech human sciences

In support of the Hospitality and Retail Management (HRM) program's Skyviews Restaurant, the HRM and Department of Design (DOD) programs collaborated to produce student designs for a possible redesign of Skyviews facilities.

"This was a perfect collaboration between Skyviews Restaurant and the Department of Design because there was a 'real world' component to the partnership," Professor of Practice for HRM, Garvin O'Neil said. "It is a template for learning throughout the College of Human Sciences."

Skyviews student design project texas tech human sciencesGarvin and Restaurant, Hotel & Institutional Management Associate Professor Charlie Adams, Ph.D., met to plan the scope of the work, ultimately gauging a $2 million-dollar budget for the students to work with in their design plans. Texas Tech University Operations Division provided a basic floor plan for the renovation projects and identified key structural components that would guide students to the impact of their work.

From there, Dr. Adams contacted Interior Design Associate Chairperson, Don Collier, MFA to pitch the idea of having students create the designs. Professor Collier was eager to help and students were welcomed to Skyviews for a walkthrough. During the walkthrough, Garvin presented the class with project vision, but left the creativity up to the students.

Interior Design students set out on the semester-long project that required a remodel proposal of the entire facility including a full dining room remodel, a kitchen expansion, conference room upgrades, and repurposing of the current office and storage room to create an additional conference and board room.

Interior Design student Laura Thomas says that the experience allowed her to understand what goes into commercial kitchen and bar design.

"Being involved in a real-world application of design was an extremely valuable experience that not many people get to do at a student level," Laura said.

For her personal project, Laura drew inspiration from a chef's knife by incorporating sleek and versatile elements throughout the space.

"It would showcase not only the food being served but the views of Texas Tech as well."

Laura's design featured a custom built stainless-steel feature wall behind the Skyviews buffet and bar, mimicking the shape of a chef's knife. Banquet seating wrapped around the building's windows offered diners the view of a lifetime in Laura's design.

In order to make the space more functional, students like Laura were asked to not only update the design of the space but add functionality through the added conference rooms, office space, and kitchen reorganization.

Skyviews student design project texas tech human sciences

"A catering kitchen was created next to a large conference room so that wine tastings could be held separately from the restaurant dining," Laura said. "Skyviews offices were consolidated into one large open office. My finish inspiration came from the natural colors of vegetables including bright green herbs and purple hues from eggplants and purple onions."

On May 8th Skyviews hosted a reception for the students to present their final designs. The top three designs were selected, each awarded a Skyviews Dinner Series voucher for two to utilize this summer in June.

"Under Professor Collier's direction, each student delivered a design package that was as professional as any I have seen commercially done in my years in hotel operations," Garvin explained. "The interior design graphics and attention to detail, down to the FFE specifications blew us away."

Moving forward, the top three presentations will be used in a grant submission to hopefully move forward with the implementation of one of the designs.

"I cannot thank Collier and his students enough for the great work done on behalf of Skyviews," Garvin said. "On a personal note, I am humbled at the rigor and care that was displayed by this class and the leadership of Collier."